1281 Wording.

Now we shift over to Thomas and Reggie for a bit so Jo and Jess can do some off camera stuff. Who doesn’t like some quality Reggie time?

I had some credit saved up so I prepurchased the Mario Kart DLC packs yesterday. I haven’t been able to play it much, but I keep hoping I’ll get a chance. The stuff you can get right now are some recolored characters and some Mercedes cars. They look really out of place in the Mario world. It looks like you’re driving a Power Wheels car. XD I actually managed to 3 star a course with one though. I was surprised because it was kind of squirrely. Anyway, I just want to play as the Animal Crossing characters now, and drive on AC themed tracks. They might have to change the game to Nintendo Kart if they keep moving outside of Mario content though.

I don’t know how many of you pay attention to the “gaming community” on the internet, but a while back a lady got a bunch of money to make a series of videos about gender inequality in games. Anyway, you can check it out here if you like. I think it’s an interesting series. I’m told it’s kind of entry level subject matter, but whatever. I think it has merit. http://www.feministfrequency.com/ Regardless of what you think about the series the response from some of the community has been really appalling. Death threats and that sort of thing. Even if you don’t agree with someone’s opinions that’s just uncalled for. Which is not to say that you can’t talk shit on people you disagree with, but threatening them directly, or their families… That’s just not cricket. In this particular instance it just strengthens the argument she’s making. Which is a win on the one hand, but she shouldn’t be menaced for wanting a better world.
For my part I think including women as game developers and creators will only improve things all around. I mean that goes for anything really. If we don’t try to improve how we treat each other things are just going to keep sucking. Lots of girls I know have cool ideas for things and why shouldn’t they have a shot at making them happen? I dunno, at any rate I’m annoyed that people reacted, and have continued to react, so poorly to the whole thing.
As far as the videos go they seem to focus on the kinds of games I don’t like. Early on she took issue with Princess Peach and more harmless depictions of damsels in distress, but as the series has progressed we’ve gotten more into the brutality that I shy away from in all media. Prostitutes seem to get the worst of it. Sex workers in general. I’ve never gone in for games where those are themes. GTA, God Of War, stuff like that. I’ve never gotten far enough into Red Dead Redemption to have to deal with any of the stuff mentions about it. I’m not the kind of player who likes to take part in murder porn. As I’ve mentioned before, I still haven’t played an renegade in any bioware games… Still, I felt like taking a look at that side of things was important. Something to be watchful about.


I don’t really know why, but Reggie has been one of my favorites.

Because he’s complex.

He has layers.

Like an Ogre.

Next up on Between Failures Reggie explains why he dislikes everyone’s favorite lawn gnome today even though Ed was playing fair last time they were seen together.

Sometimes when people really get under your skin and you can’t quite explain why to others its a sign that they are a lot like you and you can’t stand yourself! XD

Even though I’ve been console gaming at home since Atari and Texas Instruments (whatever that one was called… ) I have slowly lost the will to push time and resources into gaming since WOW became more suck than its worth and nothing better replaced it till now I don’t game at all. So like you I am mostly only aware of the most egregious and or bizarre examples of sexploitation and brutality through reviews and shows like the one you linked to. I’d like to think I would not go for that type of game but I did play a friends copy of God of War once. The prostitute thing, or whatever it was, at the beginning probably did a better job of turning people off of such things than the show you mentioned did. Bizarre why they felt it need to be in there really. *shrugs*

I like how it goes completely over Reggie’s head that Thomas basically just said “I like you too” to Reggie.

Interestingly, there has been some research showing that groups with women in them generally make better decisions than those that don’t … IIRC, the converse was not true, i.e. we (guys) need their help, but they (women) don’t need ours (I can’t find a better link, but this one gives a brief summary: http://www.livescience.com/10755-good-decision-making-groups-women-geniuses.html).

Even in your comics comment section, which is far above average, there have been some vitriolic spewings (particularly about certain characters) that suggest humanity desperately needs to start using ALL of its meager collective intellectual capital … you are certainly doing a great job of creating engaging characters and then showing how … unwise … our snap judgements of them can be — I hope people are paying attention!

Thanks for being awesome!

In those videos, there were talking points of hers that I disagreed with, but overall I thought the videos were a good watch. I, too, found myself appalled at the reaction she got from them. Death threats? Seriously?

I can’t even fathom why a death threat would come into play in that situation.

Speaking of gaming videos, did you hear about that one gaming stream-team that got “SWATted”? Some dude called in a fake hostage situation, and the streamers were interrupted mid-stream by a SWAT team’s battering ram through their door.

This is the internet. 12-15 year old males are nihilistic little bastards. Lord of the Flies and all that.

As someone who used to work as a game dev (and still keeps a bit of track) the feminist line is always about trying to bring self-reflextive shame down on the game industry over game content. It’s primarily DEstructive, not CONstructive.

CONstructive is first recognizing games are fantasies. They aren’t going to be body-positive depictions of either gender. They’re going to be idealized.



Next, girls and women need their own fantasies. Th female market is poorly served at present. One breakthrough game will make that point better than 10,000 frothing feminists.

The one big place where the game industry is sorely lacking appears to be treatment of flesh and blood female devs. There seems to be way too many male devs who treat game-making as their private “boys only” treehouse and are way too hostile to female devs. There’s a lot of personal experiences to be heard out there.

This is a cause solidly in the realm of feminism.

I think the blanket statement about women game developers as a while is pretty unfounded. Here in Chicago at several small contractor firms and a couple of the big names have hired several of my friends (who happen to be women) from art school. This may be an issue for some of the big name AAA companies out west, but here in the Midwest, I’ve not seen it. I’ve been reading a lot of publication lately about this whole treatment of women in the gaming industry, SJW stuff, and regardless of side of the argument, they all appear agenda driven. There is no unbiased source that I’ve found.

It’s unfortunate that this kind of thing happens and the controversy is so easily hidden by the people that yell and scream the loudest, but I think that the situation cannot be made better by more publication. You’re just going to polarize, and cause more of a rift than bring anyone together on common ground.

The following is satire: I wonder if Reggie is secretly Jo’s uptight twin, and he just doesn’t know it yet. : )

I think the main problems with the video’s i think is that it makes a mountain out of some pile of dirt, most of the games never have mention topic as a focus of the game but simple is included because they are needed there, if you make a open world game that focus on the player can do “anything” then they need include what is logical i place like that may have, you can’t include one thing and exlude the others because some people may not like it, and in cases of Red Dead Redemption, the worst you can do is hogtie someone and shoot at them (indifferent of gender), yes, he many times get asked but he turns them down every time…

Im sure there are games that exist with main focus on mention topic but pretty much all games never have that as a focus but simple is there because that would be there in Real Life, and not including it would make people go apeshit as well, if someone want to find a problem with something they will…

With all that said, i don’t really play much except ACNL and on and off of EVE Online so i rarely touch the topics anyway >_<

I think in some cases it’s not so much the individual game, as the trend when you look at the comparative numbers. Where are the male strippers, for example? Where are the female cops? If it’s a game with enemy/hero types, are the only female types whip-wielding dominatrices? Why is FFXI (and XIV) notable for the Subligar Armor being metal bikini bottoms on male characters, as well as female?

You may have a valid point there for the most part, but personally i think what they have putted in the game and what they have not is strictly based on stereotypes, you may argue for the mention points but the fact is still that the mention cases are in minority and is not “sterotypical” things that people would expect to see and thus they see no point in including something which do not conform to the end-users expectations, simple as that

And regarding how they decide to dress the characters, i think it’s more a personally preference how bad it is, i have seen many ones that people have gone all nuts about which i personally could not understand what the big deal is, yes, some may have less clothes then others on them but i think as long as the parts that should be covered is covered then i see no problem, for me it’s like people who go all nuts about someone scratching their ass, you got the same skin all over you and as long as you don’t scratch you craphole then there’s no problem, just because someone does not like the way someone is dressed does not mean it’s wrong and for all you know it could be a good reason for it also and not just to sxy it up which ofc depending on the game and genre is just a added bonus….

Achievement unlocked: Speechless

About what?

I’m not sure what s/he might have been talking about, but I honestly want to give you a hug. It’s no secret you favor strong women and dynamic female characters, but when you actually take time to talk about gender issues, I actually have hope for some of the rest of the internet.

Reggie also has complex vocabulary. Just another quality that makes him pretty awesome. Although he is kind of running out of short man insults. I say the next time he wants to call that munchkin a shorty call that dwarf a step stool instead.

After reading your comment. I can’t say the argument for feminism in games doesn’t have merit. The truth is that right now video games are still predominantly a boys club, which could be argued for most entertainment industries. Part of it is that even for all the advancement we’ve made video games are still only about twenty to thirty years old. That maybe spans two or three generations of game creators most of which are still working in the industry. It suffers a lot of the problems the movie industry had the difference being the movie industry is over a century old now. You’re right more women need to get into the industry and it is happening just at a slow rate, but as the industry matures and evolves so does the product it creates. Look at The Last of Us. It’s a pretty grizzly game so you might not have played it, but Ellie is arguably one of the most complex female characters created to date. The thing is for every Last of Us there’s ten Mario games using Princess Peach as a token object to be rescued. I mean I could write a whole essay because this is a topic that really gets to me, but other better people are obviously already on the case. It really is just a matter of time thing though. My guess is as the years pass this topic will become less and less relevant.

Now we shift over to Thomas and Reggie for a bit so Jo and Jess can do some off camera stuff.

…I’ll be in my bunk…

Who doesn’t like some quality Reggie time?

Show of hands?

Seriously, we all like Reggie, first because we all know someone like him. There’s the jerk who went to your school, that clown you worked with, the uncle you wish you could disown… The thing that makes Reggie Boothe fascinating is that he actually has a decent side, and he can be useful, even likable when he isn’t being an @$$#ole.

Now I’m thinking about Firefly and Serenity. Thought experiment:
How would you cast Firefly using the gang from Between Failures?

This is hard… Thomas as Mal… or Jayne? Who would play Zoe, Carol… or Nina? One thing is for certain: Jo must play River Tam.

There seems to be no direct correlation between Thomas and any of the roles on firefly. I could combine any two of them and still not quite get the same effect as Thomas has here. But since he likes to direct things from behind the scenes with carefully designed “talks” to everyone maybe he would enjoy playing the Shepherd even though he has a little more direct influence as a part of the stores hierarchy and one of its oldest employees that Book does as a relatively new “passenger” on the ship… But since the two casts don’t have direct role overlaps its the best I can do for ya.

I’m glad I’m not the only one who shies away from “dark side”-like characters. I know it’s harmless fantasizing, but I get to choose the fantasy. I’d like to be a savior, not Satan.

I never know what to think about videos like Feminist Frequency. On the one hand, talking about propagation of harmful stereotypes is a good thing. It’s taken me awhile, but my eyes are slowly opening to the fact that equality isn’t here yet, and we’ve got a lot of work to do in treating other people like equals.

On the other hand, when she starts talking about Mario, and say, Zelda, or games of that nature as problematic, I just kind of lock up, because I’m not really sure what to do. I LIKE those games. Does that make me part of the problem because I’m not necessarily ready to play ‘Legend of Link’, or ‘Super Peach Sisters’?

I guess until I really understand my own feelings on the matter, I’m just not ready to be part of the discussion.

I think it’s not that you’re a bad person, but that you acknowledge that there are tropes in video games that aren’t necessarily progressive for women. You can still enjoy problematic things, but be open to discussion to how they could be different? If you know what I mean?

You should also realize Nintendo follows a very specific formula when creating their core series of games (especially Mario) that they don’t really stray from. This puts them in a corner when it comes to inivation or willingness to change things up with their character dynamics. I also feel the videos a tiny bit dated because in Nintendo’s most recent Mario game in the core series Peach is again playable as well as Rosalina which wasn’t mentioned.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be Nintendo. I mean, I’ve been known to enjoy Dead or Alive games, for example. I don’t know exactly how bad Feminist Frequency might find them (I’m afraid to find out, really) But even though I enjoy them, I can’t deny they’re not exactly progressive.

But let’s just broaden it out. My worry is this: I sometimes enjoy tropes that are problematic. When does that enjoyment become actively detrimental to feminism?

That’s a hard question to answer. The feminist argument doesn’t start or end with video games. It only gets attention because video games are the fastest growing and most popular form of entertainment today. Not trying to start a whole conversation here but gender equality is a major societal issue that will only really change with the passing of years. As far as enjoying them I wouldn’t worry to much since you seem to recognize the tropes and know their point of view is flawed.

You’re very generous to say so, and I appreciate it. I’ve become aware that I held a lot of problematic viewpoints in the past, so I try to make a point to be open to any discussion, because I have a lot of work to do to become better.

I just worry about my ability to engage in the discussion properly, since if something I enjoy is problematic, my ability to discuss it objectively becomes compromised, because…well, I want to defend it on some level, which puts me on the wrong side of the discussion, even if I’m aware I’m wrong.

Does that make any sense at all?

Step one is being aware of your biases. It’s hard to discuss something if you have an emotion, good or bad, towards it. But if your aware, you can correct for it. If you’re willing to engage about it, thats still something.

The past few weeks the internet has been a maelstrom of vitriol with a smattering of honest and logical discussions regarding the equality and rolls of women in gaming. The problem right now is, other than relative pockets of calm (like here) both sides are worked into such a fury that no actual discussion can take place. When I made the mistake of entering the discussion on a forum my calm statement attempting to contribute to the conversation was ripped apart by both sides as being overly mysojanistic

misogynistic and pro-femisist at the same time.

Logic has left the internet long ago but the discussion should continue as there are gains in equality to be made by having it.

Why do some people even feel threatened by Anita? Why would they even go after her in such a way if they didn’t feel like she represented some kind of threat to their way of life?

I mean, seriously. Rape threats? The use of rape, in my understanding, has only a few “practical” applications.

My opinion of Anita is just a repeat of what others have already said. I don’t agree with all of her words, but I think her presence, overall, is beneficial to the whole.

My take on feminism, in general.

I haven’t made much mention of my belief in the Bible, but I haven’t really hid it, either. So, I am a little bit biased, but I hope you can see I have a good reason for it.

I’ve heard many people talk about how poorly the Bible represents women. Yes, there are examples, but I’ll save my take on this specific issue at the end. To get back on track, I want to mention Proverbs 31. In Christian circles, it is often thought of as the quintessential, “How to be a good wife,” proverb.

If you really analyze the things that are said in Proverbs 31, you see the representation of a woman who is operating under, but independent, of her husband. She has the authority within her household to run and manage a business. She can expect praise from her family for her work, including from her husband. The words use in my copy of ye olde King James Version even suggest that “her” work is just that. Hers.

Okay. Now to address the whole examples of women and oppression in the Bible. Let me set it up a little bit.

For years, I wondered why sex and sexuality were such major sticking points for Christians and secular scholars alike. In a similar vein, I wondered why, in movies, it was so common to see women’s breasts and butts, with the occasional clitoral shot, when seeing men’s penises was far more taboo. It didn’t make sense to me.

What I’ve learned recently isn’t an end-all, be-all answer, but I hope it will elicit some thought. Waaaaay back in Genesis, not very far after, “In the beginning, God,” there is a little verse about how a woman was the first one to eat of a fruit that Adam was told not to eat of. Curious how God didn’t directly tell Eve about this little rule, but that’s another discussion.

The point I’m making comes shortly after the fruit business. God is doling out consequences. Specifically, in Genesis 3:15, God declares there will be an enmity between the serpent and the woman. It has been suggested this goes a little farther beyond the whole, “women hate snakes” trope.

What if this enmity runs so deep and hot that it is the basis for all of the oppression of women throughout history?

A man’s penis is a rape threat; a woman’s vagina is seen as an opportunity. The asymmetry has a biological cause: women, not men, get pregnant, and for most of our evolutionary history, that not only tied them up for nine months, it was life-threatening.

With modern medicine, these risks are substantially reduced, but our evolution has left deep behaviour patterns in our souls.

I’m curious what a practical application would be? Other than an absurd hypothetical where the joker is holding the world hostage with a nuke and will blow it up unless you rape someone. I’m not trying to attack you here, I just don’t believe there is any reasonable time to rape someone. Unlike, say, killing someone, where there are some instances where it might be necessary.

I used the word “practical” with quotes to be somewhat tongue-in-cheek, as well as to emphasize the very few reasons people commit rape.

As I understand it, very, very few rapes are committed just because someone wants to have sex. Rape is mostly an act committed for the twisted empowerment of the one committing the act, and the debasement of the one whom the act is against.

There are at least two pathways to rape in American culture. One is, as you describe, a man wanting the twisted empowerment.

Another is a man being clueless or careless, to the point where he has sex with a woman without realizing she doesn’t want it. This is tragic and traumatic for the woman, and men should learn to be careful to avoid causing such drastic harm… but it does not necessarily mean the man is a twisted monster.

Part of what goes wrong in discussions of rape is that we have only one word to cover both cases (and several others too). When it comes to death, we have several degrees of murder, plus manslaughter, etc. But we have no way to distinguish a violent vicious rapist from a rapist who simply didn’t realize when his partner went from “passive” to “frozen.”

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